Sunday, September 18, 2011

www. Goats 101

As you may have read the other day, now that we have somewhere to put them, we are in the market for some goats. Initially I was searching only for Nubians, but now I am thinking Pygmies are what I'm looking for. What made me change my mind? Well, to tell the truth, the nearby fires killed the three Nubians I was in the process of buying, so I impatiently looked on Craigslist for other goats for sale, and there were a lot of Pygmies (cheaper, too). But when I researched Pygmies, I learned something I was glad to hear: Higher milkfat content than Nubians.

I like butter. We use a good bit of butter in our house, and I want it for free. One of the preps I lack is butter. I tried some dehydrated butter but it totally didn't make the cut. Great for mashed potatoes or things with butter IN them, but not for toast. Preparedness Pro cans her own butter and I have no doubt, but that's a lot of glass jars, and I'd like a sustainable source.

Hence the goats. Milk, cheese, butter, and the occasional cabrito. Excellent!! Here are the websites I've found that are really informative.

Pygmy Goats

Burdizzo/ Ritchey Nipper (fixing/ modern "castration")

Home Dairy supplies

milking 101

The Modern Dairy Goat (PDF)

Fiasco Farm (great informative site)

Tall Grass Farm  Another good site for scrolling

We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!


suek said...

I must say first - "To each his own". And "One man's bread is another man's poi, son".

Personally, I favor a Nubian/Saanen cross. I'm not sure that even being smaller, that Pygmies are not as much work as a larger goat, and certainly while their milkfat content may be higher (I don't know about that - no experience with the breed), the quantity they produce is likely to be considerably lower, making it a six of one half a dozen of the other situation.

A good Saanen doe will milk a gallon per day initially, and gradually reducing. Nubians don't produce that much, but have a higher butterfat content as you state.

You _do_ know, I assume, that you'll need some sort of a centrifuge to separate the fat out? goat milk is naturally "homogenized", meaning that the fat globules are small enough to be equally dispersed throughout the milk, and don't rise to the top like it does in cow's milk.

Also...I'm getting old - maybe you're not, yet! How do you cope with the size for milking? If you get a milking stand that gets them up to manageable height, it will be too high for you to sit on comfortably...if low enough to sit on, it may mean you'll have to scrunch down to milk...

But then...I don't like "little" dogs either, so maybe it's just me!

suek said...

By the way...when I had goats, I found these people to be about the best when it came to information and supplies. Some stuff you can find cheaper elsewhere, but some stuff you can't find anywhere else.

suek said...

By the way...we neutered our males with the rubber bands designed for that purpose.

I don't have any idea which method is less painful...

Dehorning is also a problem of sorts.

Both processes need to be done as early as possible.